Sticky, Spicy and Gluten-Free "Mongolian Beef"



Mongolian Beef is a super popular dish at a lot of Asian restaurants in the U.S. but apparently it's not a traditional Mongolian recipe. According to the big brains at Wikipedia, it was created in Chinese-American restaurants and is only Mongolian in name. They thought it sounded "exotic". Whatevs, it's super tasty and I'm glad I found a good vegan recipe to work from!

I have made this dish three times and each time I've fiddled with it a bit more to make it more suited to my taste. It was delicious from the get-go, don't get me wrong, but there's always room for improvement, right? For instance, the original recipe, which you can find here, calls for a half-cup of Bragg's Liquid Aminos. I know I say it all the time, I LOVE salt, but that's just waaaay too much Bragg's for even me! I switched it out with the organic gluten-free low-sodium tamari I use in pretty much everything and it was so much better! 

One thing this recipe calls for that I had never done before, was adding miso paste to the rice while it cooks. What a great flavor that adds! Mmmm...didn't change that.

Any-hoo, I think it's finally ready to share! 


Serves 3 – enough for dinner and leftovers.

INGREDIENTS

1-1/2 C Organic brown rice
1 TBSP Mellow white miso paste (dissolved in water first if using a rice cooker)
1 Block Organic extra firm tofu, cut in half width wise, then sliced thin
1/4 C + 1 TBSP Garbanzo bean (chickpea) or brown rice flour, divided
1 TBSP Coconut oil
2 C Mushrooms, sliced (I used crimini, but use whatever kind you like)
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Ground ginger or 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated 
1/4 C Gluten-free tamari (I use San-J)
1 C Water
2 TBSP Coconut palm sugar (or any other dark sugar)
2 Scallions, chopped
Any other green stuff you've got in the fridge like kale, bok-choy, broccoli (optional)
1-2 Big pinches fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional, but highly recommended)
Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Sriracha (optional, but come on, everything is better with sriracha)

INSTRUCTIONS

In a medium bowl, add mushrooms, garlic, tamari, fresh or ground ginger, black pepper, 1 TBSP flour and water then stir well to combine and set aside.

Boil rice in water with miso paste for the recommended time, or if you have a rice cooker, set it to brown rice and add water with miso dissolved into it to the cooker and turn it on. I almost always start my rice way before everything else since the cooker keeps it warm for several hours. If you're boiling it on the stovetop, factor in the cook time and start your "beef" about 15 minutes before it's finished.

When the rice is almost ready, add 1/4 cup flour to a Ziploc-type bag, then drop in a few pieces of tofu and shake to coat. Continue this process until all pieces of tofu are coated in the flour.


In a skillet on the stove over medium-high heat, add coconut oil and fry tofu until golden brown with some little burnt bits (4-6 minutes on each side).


Once tofu is done, pour the tamari mixture over tofu, add additional greens and red pepper flakes (if using) and allow to cook down until sauce thickens which takes about 5 minutes. Taste for flavor and add more red pepper flakes and black pepper if needed.

Remove from heat, scoop rice onto plates or into bowls, top with tofu mixture, add scallions, optional sesame seeds and sriracha if you like it HOT and devour!

While this isn't as "beef"-like as seitan would be, it is just as delicious and totally gluten-free! I'm really pleased I discovered this dish. Hope you like it too! :D


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